007 – Everything or Nothing Xbox Review
Mr Bond, we’ve been expecting you…
It seems like every James Bond game that gets released will get compared to “Rare’s great game”, and why would you blame someone for comparing them? Goldeneye was probably the best example of a console FPS in the 90’s and some may even say it is still the best to this day. But Bond is no longer a FPS, it has taken a risky leap to a third person shooter.
EA say that this new third person view is to give the game a different feel than their previous efforts or is there a different reason for it? Maybe, just maybe, it is to distance itself from GoldenEye. To distance itself from something that they would probably have never be able to top if they stayed in the first person view. Well I better stop comparing them now shall I, lets delve in and find out is the game is any good or is it an average effort from EA.
Everything or Nothing is a meld of genres, your basic third person shooter is in there, then you have racing/driving genre, a little bit of stealth like Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid is in there and then you have a Syphon Filter type feel to some of the game. It’s a dangerous move for any company to have so many different types of genre in one game as it usually feels if as if it was thrown together and it overall feels a disjointed experience when played by the gamer, but EA seems to have found just the right mix to offer us a very good effort. Nothing necessarily feels out of place in the game.
One of the areas that tops previous Bond titles, and one that may even top GoldenEye’s, is that the overall game feels more Bond. EA has done a great job of making you feel that you are in 007’s shoes. EA manages to do this by including “Bond moments” in the game, some of which are directly lifted from previous films. These include blowing up a wall when you’re in a tank (yes you can drive a tank!), others come making a roof to roof jump on a motorbike. (yes you can drive a motorbike!) while other Bond moments can be simply achieved my massaging a lady’s back! Although these could be called a bit gimmicky, they don’t necessarily feel like that when you are playing the game. Infact they serve as a welcome addition and will probably bring a small smirk to your face when you pull off one of the bigger ones included in the game.
A great addition to the game, which could not have been accomplished to its fullest extent in first person, is the “rappelling”. It allows you to scale the side of building, and even in some areas have a small shootout with enemies. Although rappelling only makes up about 5% of the overall game it is a small but very welcome addition. The boss battle in the game are well done, and to beat them you need to take a slightly different approach than your normal bad guy, although not a drastically different approach that would ruin the feel of the game, you even bump into Jaws a few times during the game. The second encounter with him will probably be the most memorable though. The vehicular levels no longer feel out as place, as they did with previous titles, this is another plus point for the third person view, as the jump from seeing through Bond’s eyes to a different view is no longer there and the change feels more fluid and levels feel like they are meant to be there and no longer feel like an added extra.
Ok, now on to the bad points. The major criticism I have with the game is the targeting system. Sometimes it is just fine, it feels like perfection and you feel in control, but every now and then it has it these little annoying hiccups where it decides it wants to target something else, you might want to target the enemy coming dashing towards you but the game decides it will lock onto the one that is 20 meters away. Luckily the mishaps don’t happen too often but when they do happen you will probably end up shouting obscenities at the screen about how stupid the game is. If you can accept that the targeting system is slightly off and may let you down once or twice then you should be able to enjoy the game. It is just a pity that an issue that could have been sorted out with another month of development was let slip though and managed to take the gloss of what was a very appealing game.
The game looks very good although the game is a multiplatform release and even though the game was made with all three consoles in mind it doesn’t show in the graphics department. All of the characters match their real life counterparts extremely well, Brosnan, Klum, Cleese, Dafoe and Shannon Elizabeth all bare a striking resemblance to thei real life Hollywood counterparts. The levels all look full and colorful, most of the textures are crisp and look like they belong on a next gen-system; although they don’t push the power of the X-box console they are acceptable given that game is a multiplatform release and are definitely above average.
All the animation is of the “above average” variety as well, maybe a little bit more work could have been done to iron out a few bugs but there is definitely noting bad about them. Bond reacts to the environment well, if he gets shot he flinches, he covers his face to stop explosions from blinding him. The same goes for the enemies, although they may not be as clean as Bond movements they are still acceptable. EA has decided to use the Need for Speed engine for the driving sections, so if you played game from the Need for Speed series you should know what to expect in the graphics department. If you haven’t played Need for Speed then the word polygons, lighting effects, and reflections should give you a hint of what to expect from the game.
EA have managed to do the impossible and got no less than 6 top stars to lend their voices to the game: Brosnan, Dench, Defoe, Klum, Elizabeth and John Cleese all do solid voice work. Although not up to the likes of MGS: 2, it is definitely of a high caliber, considering that this is the first time for most of them to portray their acting skills through voice only. They do not seem to have the same excitement and passion they do when there are doing their “normal acting” but it is still a very good job.
In-game music is excellent as well, a few remix’s of the classic Bond theme is included, a high tempo version when you are in fight or doing something action orientated and a slow low beat one when you are sleuthing around. Mya even sings a surprisingly good theme song for the game, the song itself is up there with any we have heard in the films and does not at all sound out of place in the game.
The single-player game will take you at least 10 hours to complete on agent mode, however 00 agent mode could take up to 15+ hours on depending on your skill level. Then if you want to get platinum medals on all the levels another 20-30 hours could be added on top of that as some of the medal seems impossible the first time you try them and will only be achieved by practice. After that it is up to the multiplayer mode to hold you attention. Basically the game will last as long as your attention on it lasts, EA have done a good job and managed to give the gamer enough to keep them occupied if they want to stay in for the long haul and complete the game fully.
Everything or Nothing isn’t without a few faults, but it is up to the person playing the game if they can accept these faults and enjoy the game without dwelling on them. The game has an equal number of plus points to try and take your mind of the negative aspects. The negative points do not necessarily ruin the game but they do damage what could have been so much better. It’s still a really great game and is unquestionably the best Bond we have seen since EA got the license. It tosses about many different gameplay elements and manages to make most of them work well without feeling like they where thrown together. The new third person view not only gives you a new outlook on things, it also gives the game a new feel, it now feels more Bond, James Bond.
8.4 out of 10